Thursday, June 10, 2010

Habib Yusuf al-Hassani on the ultimate presence (mai'yatul mutlak)


Habib Yusuf Bakhour al-Hassani began his sohbet at KL Ba'alawi last Saturday with Basmalah and praising Allah for having blessed the ummah with a prophet who is soothing to the hearts of all mankind - Prophet Muhammad who has brought glad tidings to all.

He said:
Allahumma salli ‘ala sayyidina Muhammadin wa‘ala ali Muhammadin
tibbi-l-qulubi wa dawa’iha
Bless him, who is the medicine and remedy for our hearts.

Ayyuhal ahbab (O beloved one), Allah has ordered us to give salam to one another, Assalamualaikum...May Allah grant you mercy for at this moment there are many people who are ghaflah (heedless of Allah) but there are people who gather for Allah sake, gathering out of obedience to Allah. There are others who gather in front of the television, at pointless gatherings, getting together to back-bite others, ghamimah, fitnah and what not. Allah is watching us, witnessing in which majlis (gathering) we are at. There is someone among us who is honored by Allah, may by his barakah, we will all be blessed.

It is a blessing that we could sit together at this majlis. We will not realize this nikmah except when Allah takes it away from us. It would be unfortunate if we could not do good deeds for Allah. It is sad that many people are wasting time and are not able to put themselves in a majlis where they could experience the joy of being obedient to Allah. Allah has given us the blessing of time and yet we are not spending it wisely. Allah gives us the blessing of good health yet many are using our good health to disobey Him. Your good health is amanah, a trust that you must honor.

What makes your age? You are alive because He lets you breathe. But how many people put the blessing of being alive to good use? If you truly understood and appreciated the nikmah of being alive, you will experience the true feeling of being His servant. This life is analoguous to you paying your electricity bill. You use it and at the end of the month you get a bill so you will know how much you need to pay. What happens if you didn't get the bill and suddenly someone comes to collect payment from you? Surely, you will be surprised as you are not prepared to pay. Similarly, death comes to us unexpectedly. Your good deeds (amal) is like a safe which you could carry to the Lord. So know the purpose of your life.

Does the world need you or do you need the world? Dunya is a borrowed thing, it is not a goal. Do you think one who is given the pleasures of dunya is satiated? Certainly not, because dunya is his aim, his objective. He would want more and more and it would be difficult for him to escape it.

Imam Diba'ie said, your nafs is like a child, If you gave him what he wants, he will ask for more. Only a mother can control a child. Likewise, only our 'Owner' can control us. Just look at your wardrobe. Do you think you can wear all your clothes at once? No. You only wear what you need, when you need. Do you think you can give away all your clothing to a faqir in Indonesia? No you can't because you need them. Know that all that we possess are on loan from Allah but we feel like they are ours.

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w said dunya and all that it contains (wama fiha) is cursed (mal'unah) and he also said that dunya is a blessing. What does that mean? Can you tell the difference? He said, dunya is cursed except to one who is in zikrullah, one who remembers Him, one who studies and one who teaches. So there are exceptions.

Allah said to Musa a.s. 'I am your Lord, and there is no other Lord save I who deserves to be worshipped. So perform solah to remember me.' Be sure to pray for the sake of remembering Him and not anything else. Not even heavens. We live not for our wives, dunya, cars or clothes but for the sake of remembering Allah.

The Prophet s.a.w said that his qurrata a'yun, that which is pleasing to his eyes is the heart because that is where he could feel the love for Allah. One who takes his heart for granted is one who will not gain His divine sight. But you, what is pleasing to you are women and fragrants, so you forget Allah and busy yourself with dunya. Imam Sahl al-Tustari when he was 3 years old was impressed to see his uncle praying in the middle of the night. The ulama busy themselves with Allah at night, but what about us?

If your clothes get dirty, you could wash them with soap. What if your heart gets dirty? How do you clean it? You know the 'hajarul aswad' was originally white but the sins of the ummah made it turn black. If sins could make a stone change its color, what do you think it could do to your heart? Beware of committing even minor sins because it could become major and you would need to do more to cleanse yourself from major sins. Istighfar alone will not suffice. You will need to do something significant for it.

Let me ask you a question. Answer me in your heart, no need to say it out loud. If I were you to give you a precious gem worth millions of dollars, what would you do with it? Would you give it to a child to keep or would you care for it yourself? I think, for a gem worth so much, you would engage the best security to guard it. You would do anything to protect it.

If you knew how precious your heart is, you would protect it as you would a precious gem. You thought tonnes of money is worth more than your own heart. You are wrong! The heart that He has given you; a heart that remembers Allah, is worth a whole lot more to Him than anything else!

There is a hadith qudsi that says Allah is in the heart of a believer. Does that mean that he is confined by space? No. One whose heart is expanded or positively tuned towards Allah is called abdun mukmin. One who is blessed with such a heart makes way for Allah's blessings. One ulama from Damshik once said, 'If you rid off your heart from all other attachments save Allah, you will increase your iman. If you have nafs/desires in your heart, you will become forgetful of Allah.'

If you feel in your heart there exists a power other than Allah, you will fall into shirik. If you feel that whatever blessings you presently enjoy are from yourselves or from someone, that too is shirik. You, yourself are a hijab (veil) for you to become close to Allah. What is hijab? Hijab is whatever that is pleasing to your heart. You claimed to love Allah, yet you are servant of your nafs. You claimed to be servant of Allah, yet your amal is not consistent with your claims.

You like to say 'I', 'I' this, 'I' that. You speak of yourself as though you are better than everyone else. Anyone who often says 'I', "I have" and so on, know that he is an army of Iblis. Iblis was egoistic no doubt but he never said "It's my possesions," he said, "It belongs to Allah." But man say, "It's mine." One who understands tawhid, he does not feel awe towards dunya, he understands he is a servant of Allah.

You must understand the underlying meanings of al-ghayr and al-ayn. You must get rid of ghayr, your 'self', ananinyah, the 'I'. Remove the ghayr and replace with ayn. Al-Ghayr is what you wish. Al-Ayn is the strength from Him. It is what He sees. When Saidina Abu Bakar was hiding with the Prophet in Thur Cave. He said, "Ya Rasulullah, if the enemies were to look down, they would surely see us." Saidina Abu Bakar was still considering "I" or "self" but to the Prophet, Allah was the one watching them. Allah said to the Prophet. "You are in our sight." It was He who protected him.

Prophet Ibrahim is reported to have said, "When I am sick, it is He who cures me." "He is the one who provides me with food and drink." He is the One who looks after us. Yet, Prophet Muhammad's statements were even more profound. He said, "It is He who makes me laugh and cry." "He gives life and causes death." Allah is ma'iyah. He is present with you. Only one who experiences fana'ul mutlak could truly feel His love. Know that each of your zarrah (molecule) loves the Prophet because he is the one who teaches us about being present with Allah. He teaches maiyatul mutlak - the ultimate presence with Allah s.w.t.
Wallahu a'lam.
The above is a summary of Habib Yusuf's sohbet at KL Ba'alawi on 5th June 2010. May I be forgiven for any mistakes or unintended ommissions.


  1. Salam Ezza.....

    Thanks for sharing....

    Kak Mas

  2. Jazakil'llah. Even though we were not there in KL but through you, you have made us present in that masjlis by sharing with us.

  3. Salam Kak Mas, you know I appreciate moral support from you always! Hugs!

    Good Times: Thank you for visiting Lisan al-Din and for the kind words.